Nigeria, Czech May Revive Delta-2 Project to Boost Technology Transfer
By Adedapo Adesanya
After a three-year hiatus, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has moved to restart the Delta-2 project, a technology transfer programme between Nigeria and the Czech Republic.
The Nigerian agency and its Czech equivalent, the Technology Agency of Czech Republic (TA-CR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 in Prague on critical areas of technology transfer and innovations, which resulted in the co-funding of the Czech-Nigeria Bilateral R&D project on the Delta-2 Programme.
The programme started in 2020 but got stalled.
Now, NASENI, in a statement, said the project may soon continue as the Executive Vice Chairman of the Agency, Mr Bashir Gwandu, recently visited the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Nigeria, Mr Zdeněk Krejčí, for business collaboration and fact-finding on the Delta-2 Project.
Mr Gwandu said he was on a fact-finding visit to know why the project, which was supposed to benefit Nigeria’s technology companies and entrepreneurs and the country’s economic development, failed.
He said the agency would ensure the take-off of projects that would foster growth and expansion of infrastructure, manufacturing, and innovation in Nigeria, leading to Made-in-Nigeria technologies and products.
“I want us to work on -government-to-government level on new initiatives we embark on. We want a relationship that is beneficial to our country. We have a lot of companies we are reaching out to. We want to work with the Czech government and companies. We want them to come here and start producing and domesticating technologies. We want to industrialize Nigeria.”
“We want Czech companies to come and invest here in Nigeria and have a partnership with us,” Mr Gwandu said.
He added that NASENI is working on new initiatives that would accelerate Nigeria’s industrialization and would partner with companies from the Czech Republic and other countries ready to set up factories and industrial bases in Nigeria.
He informed the ambassador that the new administration at NASENI is ready to work with the Czech government to drive Nigeria’s industrialization agenda and attract new investments in the country that would ensure the domestication of technologies through partnerships.
According to him, the mandate of NASENI is to make sure that Nigeria produces most of the goods and services it currently imports, which Nigeria can produce locally, thus developing the country’s economy and creating jobs for millions of Nigerians.
On his part, the Czech Ambassador commended the EVC of NASENI and his team for making out time to visit him at the embassy to enquire about why Delta-2 Project did not take off. He said his country is ready to work with NASENI on scientific cooperation.
“We await your new initiatives. In our country, we have a grant agency and a technology agency responsible for scientific cooperation and also the Academy of Sciences, which will be beneficial to you.
“We have about two or three companies that are ready to work with you and three universities working with tropical agriculture. I think they deserve your cooperation,” he said, adding that they are ready to work with NASENI to make the new initiatives fruitful,” Mr Krejčí noted.
The Delta-2 Programme is the cooperation model of the Technology Agency of Czech Republic (TA-CR), running from 2020-2025, through which sponsors applied research and innovation of manufacturing companies and innovative institutions.